Acting COMELEC Chief: PET to decide on the fate of Marcos' claims of poll fraud

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 1) — The Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) will have to decide on the fate of former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s claims of electoral fraud.

This, according to Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Acting Chair Robert Lim Thursday after Marcos claimed the COMELEC conspired with Vice President Leni Robredo during the 2016 elections.

He brushed off Marcos' complaints and stressed his confidence that the system will not take sides. 

He also said Marcos' conspiracy claim was far-fetched.

"I can't really comment on that in an official capacity whether may merit ba o tama ba yung sinabi niya o hindi totoo. Ang magdedesisyun diyan kase sa PET. Of course, sa akin kung ako tanungin mo based on what I know hindi ako naniniwala. Pero hindi ko yun pwedeng sabihin bakit hindi ako naniniwala kasi subjudice yan ngayon eh nasa PET. The COMELEC is just waiting if the PET will order us to investigate the matter or to give an explanation on why this is happening then we are ready to explain that," he said.

[Translation: I can't really comment on that in an official capacity whether or not what he said has merit or if it's not true. The PET will have to decide on that. Of course, if you ask me based on what I know, I don't believe it. But I cannot say why I don't believe it because it's subjudice, it's with PET. Comelec is just waiting if the PET will order to us to investigate the matter or to give an explanation why this is happening then we are ready to explain that.]

The Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System had a hearing on the 2016 elections Thursday morning.

The hearing also touched on Marcos' claims of cheating by Robredo's camp.

Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero cleared that the committee will see to it that it will not be used by anyone in relation to the results of the election, but they will look into the allegations just the same. He added a witness, a former COMELEC official, who can shed more light into the allegations will be invited to the next hearing.

"May print out kami nakuha pero mas maganda manggaling sa testigo mismo na nagsasabing hindi mirror image yung back up drive ng main drive. Ang tanong, ilan ba sa back-up drive yung pinadala nila at nasan ba yung record ng back up drive, apparently walang ganung uri ng record ang COMELEC kung kaya't hinihiniling namin na maibigay yung sa kumite para makumpara at mapagusapan namin ng husto," he said.

[Translation: We received a print out but it would be better it came from a witness who said the back up drive to the main drive is not a mirror image. The question is, how many of the back up drives were sent and where is the record of back up drives. The COMELEC apparently has no such record so we ask that it be given o the committee so we can discuss it thoroughly.]

In a press conference earlier this week, Marcos said his camp discovered alleged proof of cheating after they reviewed some of the soft copies of ballot images from clustered precincts in some towns of Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental.

READ: Marcos: New evidence shows Robredo cheated in 2016 polls

He said then-vice presidential candidate Robredo conspired with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and electronic voting technology provider Smartmatic.